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I had just been answering a question on APUG when I realized that I hadn’t shared this fantastic paper and film developer on this site. So, allow me to get on with this straight away...
The following versions of ANSCO 130 are described because of their two very special qualities.
Firstly, wonderful luminous highlights, and I mean wonderful. This developer has a certain contrast, a certain sharpness a certain ‘something’ that makes it very special. Try it and you’ll see exactly what I mean. It’s different, and it will give your prints the edge. It’s also worth mentioning that this is such a good developer for portraits (as well as landscapes). It gives the most gorgeous skin tones and an almost 3D gradation in the skin highlights. If you want to see what I mean then look at the picture of ‘Amy’ in the photo archive. This was printed on Ilford RC Warm Tone with ASCO 130 undiluted for 2.5 minutes @ 20c (using the factoral method) followed by a running water stop and alkaline fix.
Secondly, the keeping properties of ANSCO 130 are legendary! This developer lasts months, I have even heard years. It can be brown and murky and yet it keeps making gorgeous prints. When it does go it goes fast. There’s no doubt that it has died and this gives me confidence that it is doing it’s ‘thing’ right up to the end.
ANSCO 130 Paper developer
Water 50C 750ml
Sodium Sulfite (anhyd) 50.0g
Sodium Carbonate (mono) 78.0g
Potassium Bromide 5.5g
Water to make 1 liter
Use undiluted for high contrast or dilute 1:1 for normal work
• Produces neutral tones on bromide papers, warm tones on Chlorobromide
• Keep the used developer in a filled and stoppered bottle between sessions. It will last for many months
• Develop for 2.5 minutes at 20C with constant agitation